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Friday 17 January 2020

Nirav denied relief, to stay in judicial custody till 11 November

Nirav Modi is being denied bail under the apprehension that he could try to flee the UK as well; his uncle Mehul Choksi fled to Antigua after they connived to defraud the PNB of $ 11.7 billion

A British court on Thursday ordered that Nirav Modi would remain in judicial custody till 11 November. The fugitive diamond trader had appeared in court through a video link from a London jail for a regular custody hearing.

Judge Nina Tempia of the Westminster Magistrate Court confirmed that the hearing in Nirav Modi’s extradition case was scheduled to be held between 11 and 15 May next year and that he would have to appear every 28 days for the final review hearing via video link until next February until the trial begins.

The hearing for the extradition case of Nirav Modi who, along with his relative Mehul Choksi and a bunch of corrupt officers allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank of crores of rupees (worth $ 11.7 billion), is going on in England.

Nirav Modi was arrested by Scotland Yard officials on 19 March. He has since been lodged in the Wandsworth Prison in south-west London.

The legal team of Nirav Modi, led by solicitor Anand Dubey and barrister Claire Montgomery, filed four bail petitions since his arrest, which was dismissed each time. It was argued in court that he could be absconding.

Choksi fled to Antigua from where the Indian government is trying to get him extradited as well.

Once the nephew and the uncle fled the country, PNB acknowledged that it had detected a $1.77 billion (Rs 11,500 crore) worth of scam in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, whose jewellery creations were popular among global celebrities, allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of the bank branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders. Three other jewellers, Gitanjali, Ginni, and Nakshatra went under the scanner with the CBI and ED looking at their arrangements with various banks and end-use of money.

In early 2018, PNB lodged an FIR with the CBI stating that fraudulent LoUs worth Rs 280.7 crore was first issued on 16 January that year. In the complaint, PNB had named three diamond firms — Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports, and Stellar Diamonds — saying they had approached it with a request for buyers’ credit. This is among the biggest banking frauds in India as its quantum was bigger than an estimated 9,000 crore scam at erstwhile Satyam Computers.

Nirav Modi is being denied bail time and again as it is feared that he could try to flee the UK as well.

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